Review: For two whole decades now, New Orleans street music ensemble Hot 8 Brass Band have redefined people's ideas of what a brass band can be. Now to mark their 20th anniversary they're releasing 'best of' compilation, Vincennial. There are 11 of their most loved funked-up, hip-hopped jazzy covers including "Whats My Name", "Sexual Healing" and "Just My Imagination". The perfect introduction to a unique band.
Review: New Orleans' ensemble, Hot 8 Brass Band, are back with more of what they do best - bringing their raucous, genre-bustin' celebratory sound to the world. There is a mix here of three new tunes and some remixes to shake it like madman to with the seven minute trumpet-led mayhem of Can't Nobody Get Down leading the pack. Elsewhere "Take It To The House" is a simmering potboiler of rhythms and live favourite "That Girl" also appears. Reggae producer Wrongtom remixes their iconic cover of Sexual Healing, a tune also given a trippy reworking by Ray Cooper too!
Review: This Grammy-nominated New Orleans' ensemble are known for spreading joy everywhere they go with their cheery, upbeat covers and originals. We haven't heard from them since the start of the summer (that would be festival season then), but now they're back with two new cuts from their much-anticipated forthcoming album On The Spot. Both their keys talents are equally represented starting with an ecstatic cover of Maze featuring Frankie Beverly's conscientious funk jam "Working Together". This is followed by a new original number, "Keepin' It Funky", which holds its own as a swaggering chant-along. Counting down to the album.
Review: New Orleans' Grammy nominated Hot 8 Brass Band release their fifth LP. The title of the new album refers to that special moment in a New Orleans parade when the band stops to take a break but keeps noodling with their instruments for the crowd. When they're completely in the moment: they sync up and the magic happens - a new tune is created: On The Spot. It also points to the way the band have had to adapt, learn and live from moment to moment throughout their careers and their lives. A tragic series of events - the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the separate deaths of five band members plus trumpeter Terrell "Burger" Batiste losing his legs in a car crash: these moments have tested these men time and again. Their life-affirming story has been featured in the Spike Lee documentaries When The Levees Broke and The Creek Don't Rise plus David Simon's HBO series Treme. In true Hot 8 style, this album pairs hard hitting, heart-on-sleeve sentiment with party fuelling beats, hooks and grooves; raw funk and charismatic hip hop vocals mix with Big Easy jazz elegance. "We still break down a lot," says bandleader and tuba player Bennie Pete, "but now it's tears of joy. We keep everything in our hearts, but we keep on."
Review: Three tracks in a total of five mixes make up this new EP from New Orleans' most famous marching band. First up is the Reassembled By Wrongtom remix of recent Joy Division cover 'Love Will Tear Us Apart', which takes the track into dubby pastures while the Hot 8's trademark horns add a little Latin flava. J-Felix's remix of the same track is a more hip-hop inspired pass, while in-between you'll find two rubs of 'On The Spot' - Magic Drum Orchestera's is jazzy and percussive while Animanz's has more of a broken beat feel - plus the big, live band stylings of 'Working Together' itself.
Review: A one-man powerhouse of studio funk, Adam Gibbons' Lack of Afro alias has amassed an enormous catalogue of remixes and rarities in a relatively short space of time. On this Freestyle compilation, some of his most dynamic funk, Latin and boogaloo-shaped makeovers are here to savour, such as his extension of the Hot 8 Brass Band's "It's Real" or the more disco-slanted rejig of Kraak & Smaak's "Squeeze Me".
Review: Marc Hype, boss of German 7-inch label Dusty Donuts, mixes up this seventh volume in Bomb Strikes' 'Funk N' Beats' series. It's an eclectic, funked-up selection that ranges freely through hip-hop from The Nextmen and Red Astaire, 'new old' funk and soul from Speedometer, Soopasoul and the Hot 8 Brass Band, nu-jazz from Nicole Willis and Jazzanova and more besides. Highlights include The Traffic's funked-up cover of Daft Punk's 'Harder Better Faster Stronger', Speedometer's cover of The Chi-lites' 'Are You My Woman?' (AKA 'Crazy In Love'), and Hype's own take on electro classic 'Al Faafyish (The Soul)'.
Review: Self-proclaimed "complete package" Craig Charles (actor, poet, DJ, radio host, stand-up) seems to be enjoying life as Britain's most famous funk and soul fan. Here, he curates a second installment of his Funk & Soul Club compilation series. Predictably, there's plenty to tickle the fancy, from the reggae-soul-house shuffle of Lack of Afro's remix of Hidden Jazz Quartet's "High Heels", and the psychedelic funk madness of The Bongolian's "The Riviera Affair", to the celebratory release of Jessica Lauren Four's "Happiness Train" (featuring a brilliant vocal from old Jocelyn Brown), and a pair of ripsnorting cover versions (Cookin' On Three Burners' fantastic take on Numan's "Cars" and Hot Eight Brass Band's famous remake of the Specials' "Ghost Town").
Review: Thanks to his BBC 6Music show, self-styled "complete package" - comic, actor, radio presenter, DJ and stand-up poet - Craig Charles has become the UK's best-known funk and soul enthusiast. It's perhaps unsurprising, then, that his annual Funk & Soul Club compilations are extremely popular. This third collection is every bit as potent as predecessors, featuring as it does a riotous mix of heavy funk, horn-totin' soul revivalism, dancefloor-friendly funk breaks (Skeewiff and Stephen Gray), cheeky brass band workouts (Hot 8 Brass Band's famous cover of "Sexual Healing") and a dash of smooth soul (the effortless Omar). With all bases covered and some killer material, it should be essential listening for all those of a soul and funk persuasion.